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Man charged in slaying of NYC imam, friend; motive unclear

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NEW YORK — A man suspected of gunning down an imam and his friend as they left a New York City mosque has been arrested and charged with murder, as police investigate a motive for the killings.

Police charged 35-year-old Oscar Morel with two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon late Monday.

He's accused in the Saturday slayings of Imam Maulana Alauddin Akonjee and Thara Uddin near a mosque in Queens.

Officers took Morel into custody late Sunday outside a Brooklyn apartment as he approached a vehicle that police had linked to an unrelated hit-and-run and that matched the description of the shooting suspect's getaway vehicle. That's when police say Morel intentionally rammed his vehicle into an unmarked police cruiser.

It's unclear if Morel has an attorney.

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